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The dinosaurs are clinging on

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, November 28th, 2018 - 32 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, Donald Trump, Environment, global warming, International, science, sustainability, us politics - Tags: ,

Two examples yesterday gave me hope that the world was finally coming to terms with climate change and there is a chance, even a faint chance, that the urgent action required will be taken.

First off in the US of A the Trump Administration has released a report on climate change that is realistic in its conclusions.  From Oliver Milman in the Guardian:

Climate change is already harming Americans’ lives with “substantial damages” set to occur as global temperatures threaten to surge beyond internationally agreed limits, a major US government report has warned.

The influence of climate change is being felt across the US with increases in disastrous wildfires in the west, flooding on the east coast, soil loss in the midwest and coastal erosion in Alaska, according to the US National Climate Assessment. The Guardian saw a draft of the report before publication on Friday.

The draft outlined that “impacts of climate change are intensifying across the country, and that climate-related threats to Americans’ physical, social, and economic wellbeing are rising”. Climate change-related risks “will continue to grow without additional action”, it added.

The quadrennial report, the combined work of 13 federal agencies, was released by the Trump administration on the day after Thanksgiving. Scientists who worked on the report said their research was not watered down but claimed the release was timed to bury the findings during the holiday season.

Global temperatures could be limited to 2C above pre-industrial era if greenhouse gas emissions are slashed but “without significant reductions, annual average global temperatures could increase by 9F (5C) or more by the end of this century”, a previously released chapter states.

But the Orange boofhead thinks that he knows better than the combined intellectual might of his administration.

Perhaps the report should have been written in crayon with pictures.

The second example came from Australia where ScoMo used Parliamentary question and answer time to beat up on some young people wanting to take direct action against climate change.  Straight after an electoral trashing of the liberals in Victoria, Australia’s most progressive state, Scott Morrison chose to respond to a student strike protesting against the Australian Government’s totally inadequate response to climate change by saying they should stay in class.

From the Guardian:

Scott Morrison has been labelled “out of touch” for angrily condemning a national student strike to protest government inaction on climate change.

The prime minister implored children to stay in class rather than protesting things that “can be dealt with outside of school”.

“Each day I send my kids to school and I know other members’ kids should also go to school but we do not support our schools being turned into parliaments,” Morrison told parliament on Monday.

“What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”

I think they should protest.  I think they have a moral right to protest, even a moral imperative to protest.

And that dinosaurs like Trump and ScoMo should make room for more adequate leadership.  When scientists from their own administration nand and so many of their young people are insisting that they are wrong they should take heed.

They won’t, but the US mid term elections and the Victoria elections show that the times are changing.

The world is going to have to make some difficult and far reaching decisions quickly.  And these guys are not up to the job.

32 comments on “The dinosaurs are clinging on”

  1. RedLogix 1

    The tide is turning against the regressives in the Australian Liberal Party although no doubt their well-funded backers will ensure they’ll put a persistent rear-guard action. This UN report makes it clear:

    The 2018 Emissions Gap Report released today by UN Environment shows that global emissions have hit a historic high and are showing “no signs of peaking”.

    Australia is listed as a G20 country that will not meet its 2030 target — alongside Canada, Argentina, EU28, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United States.

    Although buried in there is some good news:

    Per capita, Australia’s emissions are decreasing alongside many countries around the world.

    However, the steady rise in our population continues to push our overall emissions up.

    Australia’s energy sector accounts for the highest portion of greenhouse gas emissions.

    But Professor Howden said this is also the sector where we are making good ground, despite the lack of a consistent energy policy.

    “The broadscale expansion of solar PV and batteries and wind, which continues at pace, is actually pulling back on that [upward emissions] trajectory,” he said.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-11-28/climate-un-environment-report-australia-not-on-track-paris/10554058

    • RedLogix 1.1

      I’m working at a location on the northern edge of this right now:

      Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) state manager Bruce Gunn said a massive swathe of Queensland was under heat stress and records had been tumbling.

      Among the maximum temperatures recorded on Tuesday, Cooktown reached 43.9 degrees Celsius, Innisfail hit 42.3C, and Townsville Airport recorded a November record of 41.7C.

      “It is still an exceptional weather event in Queensland,” Mr Gunn said.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-28/queensland-heatwave-to-continue-weekend-weather-records-tumble/10558952

      Where I am it’s coastal and we get a decent sea breeze, but when you wake up at 4am for your shift and it’s still pre-wet season hot and humid as hell …. you just know your in for a long day of it.

      • patricia bremner 1.1.1

        We’ve just left Redcliffe. Not as bad RedLogix,, but much worse earlier in the season than usual, and they are evacuating a town further inland.

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.1

          It’s like working in a sauna at the moment. Just walking gently a few hundred metres in the sun leaves me dripping. And because my hands are damp from sweat I keep getting tiny leakage current tingles from my metal laptop case.

          All up I think I preferred the Arctic 🙂

          • patricia bremner 1.1.1.1.1

            Regards…plenty of fluids mate!! A pinch of salt and sugar and a slice of lemon help replace lost salts. And yes, NZ night time temperature a huge relief.

      • Exkiwiforces 1.1.2

        Welcome to the build up Red, yeah I’ve seen the temperatures from Townsville and they aren’t pretty for this time of the year. Drink plenty of water or you will go trop’o and go easy on booze. I only drink Great Northern Mid’s as full strength and sprints play havoc with the body at this of the time especially if you are not used to the build up.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Trump doesn’t believe the report because he thinks globalists wrote it. Part of the globalist control system conspiracy theory. The Bilderbergers thought climate change was an excellent opportunity for their control system to adapt to the future, nationalists spotted that trend years ago so have organised in response.

    Since both parts of the establishment are too powerful to be dislodged by democracy, it isn’t clear to me how young protestors can get real leverage. I’d prefer that MS was correct in diagnosing dinosaurs as the problem. I’ve probably framed it that way myself here in the past. But really, it’s the systems and institutions that the dinosaurs represent that are the real problem.

    • Andre 2.1

      I think you’re ascribing way too much complexity to Dolt45’s thought processes.

      I reckon he says he doesn’t believe it because believing it would require him to go back on a previous position, coupled with the fact that publicly disagreeing with “elite establishment authorities” is going to get him rousing cheers at his rallies. Whereas meekly agreeing that there really has been a problem all along gets him … nothing but looking wishy-washy.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Too superficial. I agree his banalities make him seem like an airhead, but playing the fool is just part of his game. He got elected due to representing a significant body of establishment opinion in the USA, that runs through the military, Wall St, and everywhere else that matters. Under GWB this part of the yank establishment used neocons as their front. Now they’ve peeled that off and discarded it, revealing the nationalism that was always there. They’ve got the globalists on the backfoot currently.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          I agree his banalities make him seem like an airhead, but playing the fool is just part of his game.

          Oh yes … you only had to watch his TV show a few times to see how he used that trick to lull his targets into a false sense of security over and over.

          • Andre 2.1.1.1.1

            You watched his show? Gawd, I got more than a lifetime’s fill of him in the 90s when I was in Philadelphia and he was just a regional affliction doing his self-promotion with occasional appearances on things like the Howard Stern show. Even back then it was plain his real skills were in the con-man/huckster field, with no evidence of any underpinning principle or ideology or significant thought about any issues, just endless self-absorption.

            BTW, you are aware of how scripted his shows were, right?

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t think I watched more than 3-4 episodes out of a morbid fascination; but as much as neither of us don’t like him … it’s a mistake to think he’s stupid.

              The main thing to understand about the T is that he’s the kind of personality that has zero empathy. He really doesn’t give a rat’s patui what you think of him. This is why lefties find him so repellent.

              But this speaks nothing to his IQ or his ability to tactically maneuver himself in a tight spot. Forcing his opponents to focus on the wrong thing, and underestimating him are at least two of his basic techniques. Never forget that he’s already done half a dozen ‘impossible’ things in his life; way more than any of us if we’re to be honest about it.

    • patricia bremner 2.2

      More like Trump sees his coal sales threatened.

      • Wayne 2.2.1

        Does Trump have coal investments? I thought he was all hotels, casinos and golf courses.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.2

        That would only be part of it though. At the level of geopolitics, the agenda of the powers that be includes all relevant factors. Analogy to chess is often used, so we can liken major industries to powerful pieces on the board. Where’s democracy on that board? As a typical strategy used at their convenience by players, to the extent that it helps their play…

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      But really, it’s the systems and institutions that the dinosaurs represent that are the real problem.

      True and they’ve built up over decades and centuries specifically to prevent the type of change now needed.

  3. Bill 3

    And that dinosaurs like Trump and ScoMo should make room for more adequate leadership.

    And the more adequate leadership will be found…where? In the Australian Labor Party? In the current leadership of the US Democrats? No.

    While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments being expressed by that dinosaur remark, I suspect there’s divergence when it comes to questions of taxonomy.

    See, I can’t think of a single person in any kind of leadership position, whether currently in office or in opposition and from anywhere across the western world who would provide “adequate” leadership on AGW.

    The problem isn’t one of mere leadership. The problem is deeply structural and I haven’t heard a single politician say anything that would suggest they’ve taken that on board.

    Dinosaurs have to go, yes. But to achieve that, we need to replace the environment that sustains and nourishes them with something more conducive to mammalian forms of humanity. 😉

  4. Tricledrown 4

    Morris on is loosing popularity by the day expect another coup delirious Dutton.
    School kids are the ones going to inherit the earth when the dinosaur’s become extinct.
    In Europe the far right have the agenda people are fed up with high taxes and a massively bloated bearaucracy!

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    There should be Nuremburg-type trials for leaders of countries who haven’t taken any serious action in regards to climate change.

  6. SpaceMonkey 6

    The problem is systemic. And there’s a lot of money marshalled against doing anything meaningful on climate change so the leadership we’re looking for isn’t going to appear in the world’s Governments.

    AT this point, I think the leadership is most likely to emerge from the citizen movements that are beginning to spring up around the world in response to Government inaction. Only real bottom up change is going to suffice this time.

  7. patricia bremner 7

    The changes will occur through people power.

    When people vote on politicians’ cc views and buy and live within climate change rules by personal choice, that will begin to make a difference.

    At first there is the red neck jeering. We have had examples on this forum.

    Then there’s the evangelistic selling of ideas, annoying to some, who see it as extreme.

    The growing acceptance of danger and a heightened realization of kaleidoscoping events caused by the increasing carbon and resulting heat and weather impacts is being spoken about openly now, with thinkers and scientists pleading with governments through open letters for action.

    This has stirred the young to claim their future , as they will bear the brunt of the changes which threaten with a 1.5 degree plus increase. The strikes by the youth in schools in Australia is one example.

    A nine year window to act is no time at all, and the shock of rising sea temperatures indicates we have stretched the earth’s systems to the outer limits.

    Bad leadership is no leadership and will lead to anarchy.

    Hidebound adherence to outmoded systems is a real danger and those countries not reaching the targets agreed are endangering us all, and the young even more.

    We are looking at fires and fearsome fire storms, once a rare phenomena, now occurring with frightening regularity. California and Queensland for example, are having fire storms, coupled with intense droughts and hot winds.

    Like the monetary system was ”too big to fail’ some still believe the ‘planet’s systems are too big to fail’. Sadly both things are untrue. Failure is distinctly possible.

    What to do? Inundate people in positions of power and influence with tweets face book comments emails letters and ‘photos.

    Ask ‘what are you doing to lessen catastrophic climate change? State who will gain your vote and why.

    State what you want to happen, e.g faster responses, investments and dedicated teams working on strategies, as we are in a survival war. imo.

  8. SpaceMonkey 8

    “I think [the students] should protest. I think they have a moral right to protest, even a moral imperative to protest.”

    Abso-f**king-lutely… it’s their whole future at stake!! They’re the ones who will have to live with the consequences!

  9. satty 9

    Of course, we can discuss those dinosaurs… what about NZ?
    How far did we get the last decade or two?
    What are concrete examples this country is moving into the right direction?
    Any achievable plans for the near future?

    Today I walked into Wellington in rush-hour. Nearly got an asthma attack, my girlfriend compared the air quality roughly to Kathmandu, Nepal, which actually publishes their bad air quality statistics every day in the newspaper. Funnily, enough the air pollution measurement station we passed shows green on the Internet for the period we passed.
    One would also expect some sort of announcement to completely stop fossil fuel driven vehicles in – at least – city centres within the next 5 to 10 years, so everyone can start making the right decision when moving house, buying cars, arranging their lives to adjust in time.

    • Kay 9.1

      @satty- but hadn’t you heard? According to the GWRC the trolley buses just weren’t efficient/cost effective/high maintenence/whatever excuse they could come up with, so it was absolute essential they were disposed of.
      Diesel belching buses are So much better for us /sarc

      • satty 9.1.1

        Arrgggghhhhh – Don’t get me started on the buses in Wellington. Many of them are probably not even 3rd world standard. They are also incredibly noisy, which clearly was never under consideration (ever tried to have a conversation on Willis St. at rush-hour?). No wonder a tram system was considered too expensive… compared to the shittiest buses little money can buy.
        Of course, it will be difficult/impossible to stop the daily caravan of polluting cars coming into the city while we have those buses without looking completely hypocritical.
        The right time to phase out dirty noisy buses, implementing measures to reduce the number of cars and the (air and noise) pollution by cars in the the inner city is now. Otherwise we won’t have any improvement within a reasonable period, like 10 years from now.

  10. the other pat 10

    “1000 years later aliens arrive to a barren rock 3rd from the sun….they find some old news reels and something called DVD…..from them they extract the horrors of horrors….” by Ganemedes left brobox!!! exclaimed one……they killed themselves off!!!!…..what a relief….if they had managed to leave the planet the whole universe would have been fucked!!….”

  11. Jenny 11

    Michael Bloomberg; “promoting tobacco at a cancer summit.”

    This is just trolling


    Trump Team Plans ‘Sideshow on Coal’ at UN Climate Talks

    Lorraine Chow – Ecowatch, November 15, 2018

    In a different age, the arrogant prats taking part in this studied insult, would be tarred and feathered, before being run out of town in disgrace.

  12. barry 12

    and now something sane from Fairfax


    Stuff accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity. We welcome robust debate about the appropriate response to climate change, but do not intend to provide a venue for denialism or hoax advocacy. That applies equally to the stories we will publish in Quick! Save the Planet and to our moderation standards for reader comments.

    Does that mean no more re-publishing click-bait stories from the Telegraph or denialist opinion pieces? Or does it just apply to this particular series of articles and then it will be back to normal?

  13. Jenny 13

    The world’s greatest scientist is……

    Wait for it…….

    Donald Trump

    ‘I Don’t Believe It’: Trump Rejects U.S. Government Climate Report
    Olivia Rosane – EcoWatch, November 27, 2018

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